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Noise pollution

Can be described as unwanted sound that unfairly intrudes into our daily activities. There are many sources of noise pollution, most of which are associated with urban development; road, rail and air transport; industrial noise; neighbourhood and recreational noise. In 1994, the Minister for the Environment addressed the problem of noise pollution by making regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act, 1992, whereby any individual person, or a local authority, may complain to a District Court seeking an Order to deal with the noise nuisance i.e. noise so loud, so continuous, so repeated, of such pitch or duration or occurring at such times that it gives a person reasonable cause for annoyance.

How is noise measured?

Noise is measured in decibels, DB. The instrument used is called a sound level metre. It is designed to respond in a similar way to the human ear, and give objective assessment of sound pressure level.

Although noise is a significant environmental problem, it is often difficult to quantify associated costs. An OECD report on the social costs of land transport identified four categories of impact from transport noise;

  • Lower property values
  • Loss of psychological well-being
  • Health care costs to rectify loss of sleep, hearing problems or stress
  • Productivity losses due to poor concentration, communication difficulties or fatigue due to insufficient rest

Download Westmeath Noise Action Plan 2013 - 2018

Draft Noise Action Plan 2018 -2023

Westmeath County Council being a designated Action Planning Authority under Article 7 of the Environmental Noise Regulations (S.I. No. 40) Regulations 2006, has prepared a Draft Noise Action Plan for the sections of major roads in its functional area.
The Draft Noise Action Plan 2018-2023 may be viewed online by following the links below:

Public inspection point

The draft plan will be on display during normal working hours from Monday the 17th September 2018 to Tuesday 30th October 2018 at the following public buildings:
1. Westmeath County Council, Áras an Chontae, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, N91 FH4N
2. Athlone Civic Offices, Civic Centre, Church Street, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 P2T5
3. Westmeath County Council Libraries

Have your say

Submissions may be made in writing to the

Senior Engineer,
Environment Section,
Westmeath County Council,
Áras an Chontae,
Mount St,
N91 FH4

or by email to environmentcontrol@westmeathcoco.ie on or before 12.00 noon on 13th November 2018. Submissions should be headed: “Draft Noise Action Plan”.
Respondents making submissions should note that Westmeath County Council is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and the Data Protection Act 2018.

Greg Duggan,

Senior Engineer,

Environment & Water Services